Perhaps the most enlightening thing
I ever did was place myself in the "homeless" scene. To make a long story
short, I loaded up my car
to sell (rare books
, small antiques
I had been collecting, and a variety of other belongings. Took one last look at the upper-class town
of Woodstock, CT
, I had more or less called home for the past 17 out of my then (25) years, and drove away.
I hit the road
and ended up on South Street
The next two months were a blur
, interacting with all sorts of people
, from day traders
. I was lucky enough to score a third-story squat
on Buckingham Ave
, which is near 52nd and Chesnut, west Philly
. I wandered the city day and night, and learned some very interesting lessons.
The most important one is perhaps the most obvious. You are judged by what you look.
, no excuses
, just the plain fact
. When I was unable to score a shower
, and was a scrubby
, I ceased to exist to the normal populance. I was eyed warily
gave me more than the cursory glance on the street
. Other street people
were more willing to talk. Whole universes of society
opened and shut based on my relative appearance and demeanor
Lesson Two: I became what I was judged as.
When in "street mode
", I actually felt uncomfortable around the "normal" people. At first, I was indignant
when judged, as the homeless
guy in the supermarket in the above node. But after a while..it ceased to matter. I enjoyed my non-being. I reveled
in it. I was what I always dreamed of being..
Lesson Three: The poser homeless disappear when the cold sets in.
So I packed up my squat, loaded my car, and headed to Florida
. Catch my daylogs
for the story of that adventure.
My point in this whole little story..don't think because someone is scruffy and on the street they are worthless non-humans. WE ALL have a story..it may not just be as clean and comfy as your "city-dweller
And by the way..I never panhandled
once. Now if I encounter
one, either I demand
for my change
, or give them some food
if I have any.